How do Single Serve “Pod” Coffee Makers Work?

Are you a big-time coffee aficionado? Can’t get on with your day without your daily fix of caffeine? The only option that coffee lovers have apart from brewing their own cups at home is doling out a considerable amount every day at a local coffee shop.

To avoid expenditure, more and more people are switching to new and modern ways of preparing their coffee in the Ninja coffee bar.

Single serve or “pod” coffee makers took the markets by rage when they were introduced by Nespresso about 20 years ago.

Owing to their unique and compact design, these machines have now found a permanent place in many kitchens. Read on to know how exactly these brewers work, and how they match up against regular, freshly roasted and ground coffee.

What are coffee pods?

A coffee pod is a round paper or aluminium bound pellet that contains enough ground coffee to prepare a single cup. When used with a pod coffee maker, you can brew a variety of types, roasts and flavours with these pods. Sized at a standard 44mm, and containing about 7 grams of pre-roasted coffee, these pods have revolutionized the way we make coffee at home.

An Easy Serving Espresso or ESE is a special kind of coffee pod that makes a single cup of steaming hot and strong espresso.

What exactly are single serve coffee makers?

Pod brewers are an answer to simplifying the coffee brewing process. The machine does away with the need to measure exact portions of coffee and water and keeping accurate time. For this, it has two major components, the water tank area and the coffee pod area – and by forcing hot water through the attachable and removable pod, it makes a great cup of coffee in surprisingly less time and leaves little to no mess.

How does it work?

This is the basic process of how a single serve coffee maker works. Though the components and machinery in different models and brands may vary, the principle remains the same. Here’s how a small capsule of coffee power and a little water turns into that amazing drink that keeps more of us sane and alive.

  • At the back of machine is the water tank. You load a cup of water into it.
  • A small pump at the bottom of the tank pushes the water into the front of the machine.
  • As it does this, the water is made to pass through a series of heating coils. These heat it to the required temperature as per the setting.
  • The hot water is pumped through a constriction right above the coffee pod to increase the pressure.
  • The small jet of water now goes into the coffee pod, which is attached at the end of this tunnel of sorts to release the flavour. A piece of paper in the pod acts as a sieve to stop the coffee power from falling into the cup.
  • Finally, hot coffee drips down the pod and into your cup.

Some precautions to keep in mind

Though making a cup of coffee using a pod brewer is the simplest thing ever, there are still some basic pointers you should keep in mind to make sure that it tastes great and use your machine carefully.

  • Filling the tank – Make sure to only use cool, clean water to fill the tank. You should ideally use filtered water to prevent the build-up of minerals in the tanks that can ruin you machine in the long run
  • Opening the pod – The coffee pod, especially the paper kind, are quite delicate so you must take care not to accidently rip one open while removing it from the packaging. Ensure that you cute carefully along the perforated seam to avoid damaging the pod
  • Choosing the right setting – Your coffee maker will have a few different settings that it can brew which vary according to the amount of water, temperature and time required. A light cup of coffee will have a lot of water and will take lesser amount of time to brew. On the other hand, a strong cup will have much less water heated to a very high temperature. If you don’t adjust the setting, the coffee maker will automatically make a medium cup, so make sure to enter your preferred kind before to hit start.
  • Picking the correct pod – Not all coffee pods available in the shops are compatible with all models and brands of single serve coffee makers. So, take care to stock up only on pods that work with your machine. You can, however, work around this constraint by using a “pod holster” to secure non-compatible pods into place.

Why should you use a pod coffee maker?

Coffee pods are very handy and convenient because each pod comes with its individual packaging that makes sure that the whole lot doesn’t get exposed to air and light, as with regular coffee beans.

There is also no wastage when you use a pod to make your coffee. Single serve coffee makers are super easy to use and clean and barely take up any space. You don’t have to weigh the coffee each time, tamp it down, keep an eye on the temperature and all that.

So, they are definitely an economical and functional alternative to large, and difficult to handle regular coffee machines.

There are some drawbacks to this great invention, however. Firstly, the range of coffees that you can brew is limited and won’t quite measure up to the authentic feel of freshly roasted and ground beans.

Secondly, some aluminium-wrapped coffee pods generate a lot of non-reclyable waste that is not eco-friendly at all. So, we suggest that you opt for paper or cloth bound pods to reduce pollution.

All in all, the single serve coffee maker is ideal for those coffee lovers who don’t want to splurge on the local Starbucks every single day. If you’re not extremely picky about the taste, this is definitely the machine for you.


Finding the Best Cannabis Concentrates in Arizona

From edibles to creams, the medical marijuana industry has been pretty creative with how they serve marijuana and there’s just so many products out there to try. Medical marijuana in Arizona is up and coming and people are starting to get into different kinds of ways to consume it – including concentrates.

But the thing is, finding the best concentrates can be very tricky, especially if you’re new. So, what are the best cannabis concentrates in Arizona? We’ll find out soon enough. Dispensaries are packed with people and concentrates so let’s get down to business.

What are Cannabis Concentrates?

Before we even dive into what concentrates are considered the best, let’s first understand what concentrates really are.

Concentrates are components extracted from the cannabis plant that are specifically processed to have only the desired components such as cannabinoids and terpenes. Everything else gets dumped but these important components stay, that’s why they’re called concentrates.

To compare, these concentrates contain more proportion of cannabinoids and terpenes compared to the natural flowers that people usually smoke or consume. Sound great, right? Some people even use the concentrates to increase the potency of their joints before smoking it.

Don’t get confused though, these concentrates can also be consumed on their own. Famous ones are oils or kief that have been known to bring a different kind of high. Some oils are just consumed through dabbing or vaporizers.

There are several types of concentrates:

  • Bubble Hash – this has a paste-like consistency that uses water, mesh screens, and ice to achieve texture and to pull out the trichomes.
  • Rosin – the texture is the product of squeezing flower under heat and pressure.
  • Shatter – has a brittle consistency that’s usually golden or amber
  • Dry Sift – also referred to as kief; it’s similar to a powder that has been achieve after several filtering using screens.
  • Distillate – finer cannabinoid oil that doesn’t have taste, smell, or flavor.

There are lots of concentrates in the market but these are the most common ones you can find.

Best Concentrates in Arizona

Now that concentrates have been given more clarification, let’s now look for the best concentrates in Arizona. Medical marijuana has been a hot topic now and people just can’t wait to get their hands on some good product.

Lemon Diesel Uterpia

According to patrons, this insane concentrate seems like a mix of California Sour and Lost Coast OG. It has been consistently tagged as the best concentrate in the state and people are attesting to that.

With a staggering 12-15% THC content, this sativa-dominant hybrid brings you a euphoric high that still leaves you focused and creative. If you’re also looking for a boost of energy, this will be your best choice.

The product can be found at Nature’s Medicines Dispensary.

  • Golden Lemon

This strain will definitely blow your mind. Funky Skunk Farms has created a strain that constantly lands the top 5 list of best concentrates in Arizona.

This hybrid knocks seasoned smokers off their seats. It has a strong citrus aroma that will leave everybody high. Best to keep this in a jar because it can spread out really quickly. The effects hit you pretty quick and you’re bound to ask for more.

You can find this concentrate at CuraLeaf and other famous dispensaries.

  • Tangerine Dream

With saying much, this is a really powerful strain. Being a descendant of Afghan and Neville’s Haze, this powerful hybrid was created to serve as a medicinal marijuana strain.

The citrus flavor is also pretty hard to ignore, if you ask me. It helps with the stimulation and relaxation of the body of whoever wants to use it. People usually use it to fight chronic pain and musculoskeletal pain.

It’s also quite good with inflammation. If you want to buy this, you can find it at Level Up.

  • Clementine LR

This hybrid has a sweet and citrus, lemon flavor. Coming from Tangie and Lemon Skunk descent, it’s a concentrate of live resin that constantly tops the list for concentrates.

Whether you want to smoke it to sleep or just to get baked, this concentrate will never do you wrong. For some, they use it to kill their pains like cramps which can be pretty useful especially for the ladies.

You can easily find this in any dispensary in Phoenix, Arizona.

There are still a lot of concentrates in Arizona but these finish off as the best ones. Run through this list and see if these also become your favorites, as well.

For people who are new to concentrates, it can be pretty confusing of which ones to try first. But all of the things on this list can really help you find the best one for you. Consistently ranking on lists, you better find the nearest dispensary and buy a concentrate now. Just ease into it, okay?…

The Benifits Of Snacks (Instead Of 3 Big Meals)

I am sure some of you have heard people talk about eating several smaller meals per day instead of 3 large ones. Well, there are some truths to that, MayoClinichas a great article on Snacks: How they fit into a healthy diet.

  • Binge control. If eating several low-fat whole-grain crackers, a few pretzels, a piece of fruit or some raw vegetables keeps you from taking second or third helpings at your next meal, you may actually consume fewer total calories for the day.
  • Extra energy and nutrients. Traditional, made-at-home meals often lose out to busy schedules. A grab-and-go snack can be the difference between some nourishment and none at all.
  • Satisfaction for small appetites. Young children’s tiny stomachs can hold only small portions of food at one time. Older adults who are less active and who burn fewer calories also may feel more comfortable eating smaller meals more frequently. MayoClinic

They have some great information (calories, snack ideas, and general information) also on that article on MayoClinic that I recommend checking out.

Snacks are a great way to regain energy during the workday, while traveling, or just when you need a boost. There are many healthy snacks that can provide you with what you need to keep going (without coffee or soda pop).

Try taking a snack to work next week with you, I recommend an apple for the morning break and maybe a couple of handfuls of trail mix. Afternoon snack maybe some baby carrots or another favorite healthy fruit or vegetable.

See Also my posts on Healthy Snack Suggestions Part 1 and Healthy Snack Ideas Part 2 for great healthy and delicious snack ideas.…

How I Lost Weight With No Exercise or Effort

Unknown to me at the the time my,  How I Lost Weight With No Exercise or effort, started way back in early Oct 2009, my then, Thai girlfriend of 18 months and subsequently my fiancé of about 6 months. We met in thailand, during  Jan 2008 and subsequently got married, 08-Oct 2009, in Thailand, her name was, Thanyarat Nounprakhon, she now has my surname, which is Edyvane. And I also I like to browse famous project free tv site to enjoy movies while having my cup of coffee(beaten coffee)!

As this name is a bit of  mouthful, if I can quickly explain that all Thai’s get their name shortened to some affectionate name, similar to our ‘nick naming’ system but as they are about 90% devout Buddhist’s, they are usually given these shortened names by their town or village’s Buddhist priest shortly after their birth.

There name usually comes from the things in nature such as, birds, flowers, weather, even feelings, etc like ‘moong’, which means pig, ‘nok’, which means bird, ‘suay’, which means beautiful, ‘nam’ which means water, etc, etc, My wife’s name is ‘Dao’, which means star,  heck! I even got one, ‘phom juk, which describes the hair that is tied up on their children’s heads until they are old enough to have it shaved to go into a monastery for a period of time.
Many boys spend about three years of their early teens here where they get a good education and also taught the Way of the Buddha, much like our religious education.
My wife is known to everyone as, ‘Dao’ which means ‘star’ in thai and it seemed like no matter where we went in Thailand, well at least in Bangkok city, Buri Ram city and Pattaya, everyone seemed to know her and these places are not small.

Although it might seem like I am digressing at the moment but I am trying to set the scene for what is to come later on in my story. What I am here to chat about really, leads up to weight loss but not in the way you might be expecting because it has never been my intention to lose weight.
My weight story is not from one of the many, weight loss diets or 10 easy steps to losing weight type courses or programs that are prevalent everywhere because this article is not about any particular weight loss program or course, per sé.
What’s so special about this one then, you may ask and why should I carry on reading it if it’s not about a weight loss plan, well it is in some way a weight loss plan but not anything like any other.

In the past I had never had any weight problems, I had been training in the martial arts for almost 30 years and ‘we’ martial artists very rarely have weight issues either way. That said, I had to stop training due to a double ‘keyhole’ knee operation that put me out of action for over two years, that is, it was nearly three years before I could get myself into a squat position.
During this period, although it was very slow, I had been putting on bit of weight over the course of about five years, I had been ten and half stone for most of my life, which about 150lbs, approximately 65kilos. I have always had the kind of metabolism that could not put weight on if I tried no matter what I ate even for the first three years with no training I only went up to about 11 stone.

But as three or four more years went by  this time I am starting to get into my later years, I noticed I was up around the 12 stone mark, I hadn’t really been trying to prevent any increase in my body weight, I just put it down to getting older and had decided to do it gracefully but what was to happen later was something that I just practically stumbled upon by accident.

Let me explain, how this ‘stumbled upon ‘ how I lost weight’ discovery came about. Once my wife, Dao and I were married, in Thailand by the way and Boy oh boy!! do they really know how to make an occasion of it, most definitely not the sombre affair it always is here. There was so much chatting and laughter going on, ‘while’ we were being married, I couldn’t even hear the Buddhist monk reading out the ‘rites’. Thai’s really do like to have fun and they really know how to have fun too.
I had been there for a total of about 7 weeks but not being particularly well off, I had to get back to the UK, to set about applying for a visa, so that my wife could come and join me here in England.
I had already made my mind up that I eventually wanted to live back in Thailand but for the short term we would live here until my 21 year old, (at the time) daughter had finished her bio-chemistry degree.

My older children are all grown and married or nearly there now and plus we are going to have an extra couple of rooms added to the house we are going to build out there in a couple of years time, so they can come for any amount of visits they may wish to do.

All the time I had spent in Thailand I had always just eaten Thai food because it is so delicious, so to cut this story a little shorter, we get her visa back in record time which is just as well because by early March of 2010, she is 5 months pregnant and I have gone back to Thailand to; a. have one more month out there because now we are married I won’t have any reason to go back out there, and b. to bring her back to the UK pronto because a pregnant woman cannot fly in an airplane at over six months pregnant. So we take off on 08 April 2010 and she is exactly six months, to the day, we believe.

While I was in the UK and all the while we were apart, I had cooked and eaten nothing but Thai food and man, if I say so myself it tasted beautiful, it was more ‘ish, I couldn’t get enough of it. I had got to the point where I didn’t eat English food at all anymore or rather I didn’t even want to eat English food anymore.
I finally realised that  English food was so,… what’s  the best descriptive word, ‘stodgy’, you know that ‘bloated’ feeling that you get when you feel you cannot move because you have eaten too much, well I wasn’t getting that any more and yet I was eating more food at each sitting.

Fast forward>> June 22nd 2010 comes along and we have a baby girl, ‘Lawan’ and by Jan 2011 she is seven months old and I am in the chemist’s getting her some antibiotic’s for a cold she has, I happen to notice some weighing scales. Now, because my wife doesn’t think she speaks English very well she has avoided all the postnatal visits to the clinic, so we have been weighing and measuring Lawan at home.
Now I know the last time I was in Thailand, March 2010, I was about 85 kilo’s, which I couldn’t believe I had got myself up to 13 stone and when we left a month later I was about 83 kilo’z.

So I here I am now about nine months on with Lawan on my hip and I ask the chemist lady if I can use her scales because I don’t know Lawan’s exact weight, she agrees.
So I get on these scales, and to my surprise it came back with 83 kilos, so I’m thinking Lawan must be about 3kgs so I’ve lost about another couple of kilo’s since coming back from Thailand, 9 months ago.

You’ll have to excuse me if I seem to be jumping from pillar to post here but I trying to set a rough time-line out without going into too much detail along the way.
Another few weeks go by and I decide to take Lawan’s monthly weight with the baggage scales we had started using because the midwife hadn’t come round so often now to do her monthly a she had up until 3 months ago.

So imagine  this, I’ve put her in her car seat to weigh her as I had started doing and she was 9 kiloz, so my brain went on some sorta under/overdrive and my mind was running figures and impossible scenario’s through my brain, like the baggage scales must be way off or stopped working properly, how can she have put so much weight on, etc

I finally came to the only conclusion that made any sense, when I remember that I’d only allowed for Lawan being about 3 kiloz, which meant when I had weighed myself with her on my hip she was actually about 9 kilo’s, so I had actually lost more like 9 kilos since april 2010 and it was now beginning of February 2011, which works out to be about 11 months.
Now it is July of 2011 and we have bought some bathroom scales and my weight has gone down another two kilo’s, this is really cool because before I’d got on the scales that day at the chemist’s, the only thing I had noticed was my 32″ waist jeans that had been so tight, (so I had probably been almost a 34″ waist), were now so loose I was having to roll the waist down to prevent them from fallin down but it still hadn’t clicked, that I had lost weight. I mean when you put jeans on from clean on, at first they are tight and then they get loose, I just assumed that was the cause.

So a couple more weeks went by and I was just getting my 3-4  pairs of my 32″ jeans ready for the wash n’ remembering what I’d had to do to keep my 32″‘s up, I thought to myself, ‘I wonder if……??’
I’ve had half a dozen pairs of a mixture of 29” and 30″ waist Levi’s, Lees n’ Wrangler jeans from my 20’s that I never had the heart to throw out even though I ‘knew’ I’d never have of ever getting back into them again. So I pulls them off their hanger’s and one by one begins to try them on and would you believe all the 30” waist’ers fit like gloves but still just slightly loose around the waist, how cool is that and I could almost get the 29″ waist ones on too but a little uncomfortably tight but they would have stretched.

Now, the only thing I have done different since being back from Thailand is I have only eaten Thai food, freshly cooked by, Dao, mostly in a wok, in a very short time and these meals taste deeeelicious, yummy!
So my large belly is almost completely gone, me man boobs have almost gone too, which in my book is a result on its own and I wasn’t even trying to lose weight. I am now down to 71 kilos. oh! and btw this is with my jeans and all my clothes on as well, I don’t know what I might go down if I started exercising again too.

There are a couple of Chinese raw food stuff shops quite near to us and they sell a lot of raw Thai food stuff’s, like; Thai sauces, Thai farmer’s rice, (well worth buying), and all the other stuff you are likely to require like Thai birds-eye chilli’s and spices, lemon grass, galangal, tom yung goong n’ penang sauces, we top up on them every month of so.
If you want to find the same and plenty of Thai recipes if you google search, in fact if you would like some sample full colour photo’s (see sample enclosed) of the cooked meals with written instructions on how to cook them and the ingredients written along side then let me know, because I have a few and Dao never uses them.
These are, A4 sized prints, so much bigger than you see here, I was also planning on filming my wife making these dishes and putting them on utube, so that you can see for yourself what is involved and how quickly and relatively simple they are to cook. Would love to hear your comments or feedback on this point, eh?? So keep an eye on this post because if I carry on losing weight it’s gonna become a dynamic poste, ie; there will be more additions to watch out for, Okaaay

I will leave my email below and I will send any photo’s ordered back to you, more or less by return. You will find loads of these Chinese and Thai food stuff suppliers all over the place in your area, I have even seen some of these food stuff’s in the large Tesco’s, Aldi’s and Asda’s, so you can get the ingredients.

This was definitely a very cool way to lose weight with no exercise and no effort, to the point that I didn’t even notice the pounds falling away from me and with absolutely no effort unless you consider changing the food that you eat now, for a type food that tastes absolutely delicious, as effort. ;-/

This why I chose to write this, How I Lost Weight With No Exercise Or Effort, blog, so I hope it helps the ones that truly wish to lose weight coz this will definitely do it for you, u just have to change what u eat but u ‘will’ love the change and it is all so much quicker.…

The Health Benifits Of Dark Chocolate

Who would have thought dark chocolate could be tasty and healthy? I personally have always loved dark chocolate, it isn’t as sweet as it’s white and milk chocolate brothers, but I prefer it most of the time.

I have done a bit of research online and found that dark chocolate is actually really good for you. I found a really great article on WebMD, “Dark Chocolate is Healthy Chocolate.” There are numerous potential health benefits to eating dark chocolate, including lowering high blood pressure and acting as an antioxidant

One of the benefits of eating dark chocolate is that it can help as an antioxidant. But don’t add milk!

“Our findings indicate that milk may interfere with the absorption of antioxidants from chocolate … and may therefore negate the potential health benefits that can be derived from eating moderate amounts of dark chocolate.

It was also found that eating dark chocolate can reduce blood pressure.

… “Every day for two weeks, they ate a 100-gram candy bar and were asked to balance its 480 calories by not eating other foods similar in nutrients and calories. Half the patients got dark chocolate and half got white chocolate.
Those who ate dark chocolate had a significant drop in blood pressure (by an average of 5 points for systolic and an average of 2 points for diastolic blood pressure). Those who ate white chocolate did not.”

Cocoa phenols is the part of the dark chocolate that is supposed to help lower blood pressure. What is that? I don’t know but Wikipedia does.

Now don’t go out and eat a bunch of dark chocolate because it is “healthy,” the fact is that it is still a sweet and should be eaten along with a healthy diet and active lifestyle.…

What to do Before Starting a CSA

Thinking of starting a Community Supported Agriculture program for your hydroponically-produced fresh greens and herbs? Great idea, but don’t get started too fast! With you in mind, Bright Agrotech has recently published a CSA Grower’s Packet. This is blog post one of four to highlight some of what a CSA grower needs to succeed. If you can’t wait or just want more detail, download the entire planning packet here.

Before launching a CSA program, your farm needs to have several systems in place and functioning as well as possible.

Before Starting a CSA…

You MUST Be Producing

Your farm must be producing before starting a CSA. This allows you to gain an accurate production idea and, therefore, price and sell the right number of shares. Without knowing your production in advance, it is difficult to market your CSA correctly. Selling too many shares will lead to a reduction in quality and value, two elements that your CSA should always seek to provide. Production before starting a CSA is also necessary to combat any potential pest control, management, or other production problems. Make sure all management issues have been addressed. You do not want to be ironing out any wrinkles once you are under the expectations of paying customers.

Establish Food Safety Practices

You do not want customers getting sick from your food. Determine what your farm will do to insure food and product safety. How will you clean your equipment? How will you clean the produce? (Customers love having their produce cleaned before pick up.) How will you stop the spread of disease or other contamination? Many food safety practices are common sense, but make sure the entire team is briefed on their implementation and importance.

Be Sure to Get Insurance

Discuss your farm’s insurance needs – and how the CSA will affect them – with your insurance agent. Holding share pick up off-site may reduce insurance costs. Product liability insurance is also a good idea to cover your risk in the event of food contamination.

Contact Local Agencies to Determine Regulatory Issues

Generally, direct sales of live, unprocessed produce is fairly unregulated. However, this may not be true in all areas. Contact your local health and agricultural agencies to determine what regulations your CSA needs to…

Make Sure Customers Know What They’re Getting Into

While the shared-risk concept of a CSA may be very clear to you, the farmer, your customers may not understand what they’re signing up for. Clearly outline the program, including potential risks, costs, and their expected relationship, in all marketing materials and contracts. Do not leave customers guessing or assuming. We’ll be talking more about marketing to your CSA customers will be available in an upcoming post.

Feel like you’re ready to start your own CSA?

Download the entire planning packet here, which contains detailed best management practices, marketing strategies, customer management techniques, a financial planner, and workbook to help you create a successful CSA.…

The Best Hydroponic Nutrients For Your System

How to Choose a Hydroponic Fertilizer

Hydroponics systems require a carefully crafted fertilizer, or nutrient solution, to grow optimally. If you are just starting out in hydroponics, or if you’re experiencing some issues with your current hydroponic production, this post will help you in deciding which nutrient solution is best for your system.

Two Considerations Before You Choose

Before you get too carried away, be sure to think about two different variables in the nutrient solution equation.

Whether you’re growing for fun or growing for profit, you’ll first want to consider both convenience and price when deciding on the appropriate fertilizer for your system.

As you’ll read below, hydroponic fertilizers come in two different forms: liquid and powered. If you’re a hobby grower just starting out, you probably want to go with something a little less hassle (i.e. a little harder to screw up) like a liquid solution. While this type of solution is a bit more expensive, don’t forget the value of your time and frankly your sanity. For commercial hydroponic growers, powdered forms offer better value in bulk quantities but take a bit more skill to perfect.

Don’t forget: everyone has a budget so be sure to keep a close eye on your nutrient costs as they can creep up on you over time if you’re not careful.

Hydroponic Nutrient Solutions: Liquid vs. Powdered

As mentioned above, hydroponic nutrients are sold either as a premixed liquid solution or a solid powdered form.

Liquid nutrients are more commonly used for hobby systems as they make adding fertilizer quick and easy. For example, we send out liquid nutrient solution for our Spring Systems, as most Spring owners don’t have the time or resources to mix up a powder fertilizer. We’ve seen the most success with Dyna Gro Foliage Pro, a premixed liquid fertilizer with a 3-1-2 NPK ratio. For this reason, it’s the solution we trust to get our beginner hydroponic growers off to a good start.

Solid fertilizers typically are sold as a two-part powder mix. The first part is calcium nitrate and the second is the main nutrient mix. If you are using choose a powder mix, you want to make sure you mix the two powders separately and then add them together as a solution. (The reason for this has to do with calcium nitrate being a poor team player when dissolving; it dissolves better when mixed on it’s own. Once it’s dissolved in water, it can be added to the main nutrient solution.) Most of these two-part mixes are complete solutions, but a few will require another compound (such as magnesium sulfate – a.k.a. epsom salt) to be added as well.

Although powdered fertilizers are more complicated to use than liquid solutions, there is a big benefit in price. Since nutrient solutions are mostly water (only a few teaspoons of powder are used per gallon of water), shipping large quantities of solution is extremely expensive (i.e. you end up shipping a lot of water weight). Larger hydroponics systems usually use powdered mixes because you don’t have to pay for the weight of the water in shipping costs. Another plus is that you can get powdered mixes specific to different crops- a strawberry mix, a lettuce mix, etc. (although this can also be true of liquid solutions). Hydro Gardens sells a variety of formulations of fertilizer.

When to Add Nutrients to Your System

If you are growing in a Spring System, adding nutrient solutions is easy- six tablespoons of Dyna Gro when you start the system and then new water with Dyna Gro each time you replant. We designed the Spring for ease of use, minimal work and maximum returns.

Knowing when to add solution to larger hydro systems, however, is a little more tricky. You’ll want to be taking two measurements on a fairly regular basis: pH and EC.

A measure of EC (electrical conductivity) will tell you when your system is running low on nutrients. EC is essentially a measure of the salts -and therefore the nutrients- present in the solution. EC should be between 1200-1500 parts per million, but this number depends both on the crop and water demand. The best way to decide where to set your EC threshold is research! (Get a book on hydroponics – We like this one)

Another thing that is crucial when adding solution is pH regulation. pH dictates the “usability” of the nutrients by plants and microbes.

How often should you check your system? If you are hand dosing your system (testing the water yourself), you will want to check it once or twice a day. The more convenient option is to buy a dosing system- a computer with sensors and pumps hooked up to solution which tests the water in your sump tank for you (every 5 or 10 seconds) and corrects it automatically. One such dosing system is Autogrow’s IntelliDose.

We’ll be discussing more on EC and pH in future posts so stay tuned.

So what are the best hydroponic nutrients for you system?

Hopefully this post has helped you in choosing the right nutrients for you.

Remember, before you go out and buy any old solution, there are a few things to keep in mind.

You’ll first need to decide whether you’re leaning towards convenience or price. Are you willing to spend more on less hassle and potentially fewer mishaps? Or are you looking to save costs and experiment with mixing your own.

There are several incredible resources out there on hydroponic nutrients, and we will be outlining more hydroponics 101 tips and tricks for optimal growing in the near future.…